Data on Gangs
How do you know who is a gang member?
- What is a gang?
group of members that have a common deviant values
group of members that engage in delinquency for self gains
though, difficult to defining what is a gang because
peer groups in general are central to youthful activities
people hang out in groups
common feature to see adolescent to engage in groups
hence, a gang comprise primarily young males, engage in behaviour from outright criminality to graffiti. Females?
Difficult to get precise information on gangs
official data (police)
self identification (surveys of youth population)
ethnographic studies (we can’t get information on prevalence and incidence) Police
Official data produce different estimates than self-report studies Not predominantly good at female gang member categorization. There is a lack of standardized definition amongst the police department as to what constitute a gang. Only a few city have official gang units. police data can be off
different definition of gang (many different arrays of definition) there are some police agency that their department need more money to blow up gang issues.
Surveys of Youth Population
advantageous in empirical and understanding the definition of a gang. people who know they’re not a gang, tend to have experience with gangs. Mean Streets (1997) by Hagan and McCarthy
can get precursors to why people join gangs
what kind of activities...
Cities in the U.S. with Gang Activity
Estimates of changes from 1970s (Miller) to 1990s (Curry et al.) National Youth Gang Survey (2009)
Canadian Cities with Gang Activity
- street family had more female members, not male dominated (in toronto and vancouver) more on a individual level than group level.
Curry said 5% are female, but others say there is 1/3 of gang members are female.
Hells Angels (Criminal Intelligence Service...